Avanti Secures $68 Million to Switch Launch Vehicles
Start-up broadband satellite operator Avanti Communications Group of London has raised some $68 million in cash from institutional investors and the British government to pay the additional costs it will incur in shifting the launch of its first satellite to an Ariane 5 or Soyuz rocket instead of a Falcon 9 vehicle operated by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Avanti said….
The decision to switch launchers, which had long been expected, will permit Avanti to remove doubts about its viability among customers and prospective investors, Avanti said in a July 1 statement to shareholders and the London Stock Exchange….
Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX is also behind schedule with its new Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which previously had been slated to make its debut in 2007. Company spokeswoman Cassie Kloberdanz said in a July 9 statement that the company is on track for an inaugural launch this year. Kloberdanz said the company would have no comment on the Avanti situation….
In the company’s July 1 statement to the London Stock Exchange, Avanti Chief Executive David Williams said the launch risk concerns of prospective customers forced Avanti to cancel Hylas’ Falcon 9 launch.
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